Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spartans, Denzel Valentine beat KU at Champions Classic

The Michigan State bench goes crazy after Michigan State guard Matt McQuaid (20) hit a late three-pointer over Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.

The Michigan State bench goes crazy after Michigan State guard Matt McQuaid (20) hit a late three-pointer over Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.


After controlling most of the game on both ends, the Jayhawks fell victim to the versatile skill set of Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine on Tuesday night. 

The veteran who helped guide the Spartans to the Final Four last season recorded a triple-double of 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to help No. 13 MSU knock off No. 4 Kansas, 79-73, at Chicago's United Center in the Champions Classic.

KU senior Perry Ellis was the game's best player for the first 25 or 30 minutes and Ellis, as expected, led Kansas (1-1) with 21 points and added 6 rebounds. But Valentine took over down the stretch, hitting big shots and setting up teammates for others.

Wayne Selden Jr. (12) and Frank Mason III (14) also reached double digits for the Jayhawks, who struggled offensively for much of the final 10 minutes and simply had no answer for Valentine, who became just the fourth player in Michigan State history to record a triple-double. 

The loss dropped KU to 1-4 all-time in the Champions Classic showcase, 0-2 against the Spartans in the event.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: The final horn sounded. The Jayhawks hit Michigan State with a mini-spurt midway through the second half that featured buckets by Ellis and Mason and pushed KU's lead to 61-50. But the Spartans never quit after that and used an 18-5 run to build a 68-66 lead that set the stage for the wild back-and-forth finish.

• Offensive highlight: Pick any one of Ellis' buckets, but one of his biggest came when he crashed the glass late for an offensive rebound and put-back (seemingly in the same motion) that tied the game and kept KU right there.

• Defensive highlight: With the teams racing up and down in transition midway through the second half, MSU senior Bryn Forbes took a pass from Valentine and went right at Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Rather than giving up the layup or the foul, Mykhailiuk elevated, hung in the air, altered the shot and forced an out-of-bounds situation that gave the ball back to KU.

• Key stat: After even shooting in the first half — both teams shot around 38% in the first 20 minutes — Michigan State responded by shooting 53 percent in the second half to just 31 percent by Kansas.

• Up next: The Jayhawks head to paradise next week to open play in the Maui Invitational against Chaminade at 8 p.m. (central) on Monday. Win or lose, KU will play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in Hawaii.

— See what people were saying about the game during’s live coverage

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Michigan State

By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73

By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73


Daniel Kennamore 6 years, 10 months ago

You know, maybe we should consider not playing in this classic anymore after this rotation. We are 1-4 in the event now.

Brianna Zaleski 6 years, 10 months ago

If that is the Defensive highlight of the game, then the pickings were obviously very slim.

John Boyle 6 years, 10 months ago

Free Landen Lucas!!! of a wasted scholarship. He was Gawd awful tonight.

Daniel Kennamore 6 years, 10 months ago

He's only playing because Vick is hurt and Diallo isn't cleared yet.

The player that really needs to be benched is Graham. He was 1-9 on the night, including 0-4 from three. He kept making bone heading play after play.

Brad Mason 6 years, 10 months ago

I've never been really impressed with Graham. Not consistent enough..

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago


Aaron Paisley 6 years, 10 months ago

-7 on the boards. KU can't rebound to save their lives and this is why Diallo is so important to KU this year.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 10 months ago

Considering MSU injuries with their bigs -7 is just sad. This does not bode well going forward.

I do not think we lose this game if DIallo would have played. He is such a difference maker down low.

Brianna Zaleski 6 years, 10 months ago

Once again, Self is out coached by Izzo. Once again, a Mason, Seldon and Ellis led team, can't hold a lead to save their lives. And they don't just let a lead slip, they are insistent on giving you back, all the points they just earned. I was hoping we'd turn a corner this year. Doesn't look good so far.

Jaston Archie 6 years, 10 months ago

Bill Self got exposed tonight. Tom Izzo is flat out a better coach a better motivator a better game manager. Why was Landen Lucas and Devontae Graham on the court? And get rid of that high low, play to the team strengths and not force a rigid system on whatever type of player you have, that's why recruits don't want to play at Kansas just to weave around the 3 pointer aimlessly and throw it inside to subpar post players. Carlton on the bench, Svi and Brannen and Hunter on the bench. It takes a special effort to have all of your highly recruited players on the bench and the not so highly recruited (save Selden and Ellis) on the floor, Self is either a genius or an idiot. I think it's time to get used to winning the Big 12 and coming up short in big games and the postseason.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 10 months ago

Bill Self got exposed tonight? What about last year? And the year before that? He's nothing without Danny Manning on his coaching staff.

Fire Bill Self!

Jaston Archie 6 years, 10 months ago

You're absolutely right, last year i said Selfs seat should be getting hotter and now seeing that nothing has changed its time to at least start asking some tough questions! With the new rules changes Kansas needs a coach who can open up the offense and exploit match ups. Most coaches would salivate over the offensive weapons in this team but Self likes them on the bench

Bryce Landon 6 years, 10 months ago

And no, we should NOT get used to just winning the Big 12 and fizzling in the Tournament. If Self can't get it done when it matters, bring in someone else who can. Tony Bennett? Gregg Marshall?

Chad Redeker 6 years, 10 months ago

Seldon is terrible in all areas of the game. He can't finish or guard anyone. Valentine abused him all night. The reason KU struggles is because their guards are average at best with Frank being the best. Can't keep anyone out of the paint at all. Svi and Greene should have played much moore. Absolutely no team leader. Perry scoring but does he get touches down the stretch? Who on the team can get a tough bucket? Need to recruit elite guards because they win games.

Jaston Archie 6 years, 10 months ago

Elite guards will not jeopardize their NBA future by coming to Kansas to play jn a system that limits their abilitites. The ironic thing is that even the top big men are going elsewhere

Rodney Crain 6 years, 10 months ago

Jaston you might be on to something. Only 13 top 100 players left.

Chad Redeker 6 years, 10 months ago

Another comment, if you have "elite" shooters and coaches are not smart enough to get them open looks then a guard could penetrate and kick out right? Guards are selfish, go crashing down the lane and chuck something up continously. Mind boggling how Svi and Greene don't attempt 3 point shots.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

If you want to pick who's fault it is on KU's roster, might as well pick the whole team. Take a look at the score, we're only down by single digit, by a well-coached team. Perry still can't dunk, heck, he can't even finish a fastbreak and well.. he's Perry. He's too soft around the rim, got rejected so many times. He somehow ended the night with 20s. He's one reason KU almost beat MSU. Bragg or Diallo, do you think it'll make any different at this stage? MSU is a heck of experience team, final-4 against B12, cough cough..

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago


Christopher Giordano 6 years, 10 months ago

It all comes down to heart and KU BB has not possessed it since 2012.

I firmly believe that Self's biggest irony as a coach is that he has a depth of talent every year and refuses to use it to his advantage. He never surprise presets or tries to push the tempo. But he has all the talent in the world to split minutes. It's a shame.

I like Bill Sel, however the jury is starting to congregate. I'm tired of watching teams that have no BB IQ and no heart.

Kristen Downing 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, we beat them in one area, less turnovers. We can not count on our interior defense or offense with the present "big" men. I can't really include Hunter in this, since he is not allowed to play. I know Self is not insane, so I'm sure he will not keep trying the same failed game plan over and over. Kentucky's long athletic players will give this team an embarrassing beat down in Allen. Why did we schedule Kentucky anyway?

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

Would you rather us play WSU? Might as well get embarrassed by an Ivy.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

I would rather we play against any good teams than winning against D2, or some subpar teams. We should learn from each game. That's the only way to get better. Even if it takes a beating or two.

Dave Miller 6 years, 10 months ago

Kentucky vs Kansas is part of the Big 12 / SEC challenge. You can thank the conferences.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 10 months ago

Many said on here this team was loaded even without Diallo. That this team was different than the one that faded down the stretch last year. That due to our experienced team we would know how to hold a lead and close out games. It was said we were very deep and this would play a factor in how we could control games as the number of fouls increased in a game. Look how we won the gold medal in Korea, this team is going all the way!

Now those same folks are saying after this loss, it was a ranked team with a Hall of Fame coach, no surprise that we lost. That its early no need to panic, or be concerned. That we will learn from this and play better in Maui (that was a senior star player btw). That we have won a National Championship and been to two final fours, 11 straight B12 titles, this is just a blip, a pot hole. We are fine. Nothing to see here, keep your head down and move on please.

Sounds foolish.

I think we will have 3-4 losses before conference play, KY could destroy us in Allen too, and we will do well to tie for another B12 title but only cause our competition has been weakened. We are staring a 8-10 loss season in the face, another early exit from the NCAAs too.

Now if DIallo is playing all bets are off. He is a difference maker. He will make everyone better the way he plays.

I do not understand anyone calling for Self to be fired. I do not agree. We better do something though, I do not see a lot of talent on this roster and recruiting has been a disappointment so far.

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago

Welp some of the Kansas fans got what they wished for everyone kept saying that they want a veteran team of players that have been in the program three and four years well here it is folks the team that you've all want 0 one and done players how's that working out for us right now???????? Lucas, selden, traylor, and no athletic wing player that could be a potential lottery pick on this team and it shows because there's no go to scoring threat on the perimeter

Chad Sandwell 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh my God, people. Put the crack pipes down and step away from your bottle of Boone's. Just like you I am disappointed. But calling for Bill's firing might be the stupidest thing I have heard in quite a while. It's game #2 in November. Relax! Was Lucas awful? Yes. Was Selden bad? Yes. Do we need to learn how to grab a defensive rebound? Sure.

To say that Izzo out-coached Self is giving Izzo way too much credit. One guy had a career game and that beat em tonight. All Izzo did was whine about foul calls the entire game.

We'll be alright. Everyone just go to bed. I promise the sun will come up tomorrow.

Damn, you people are idiots!

Rodney Crain 6 years, 10 months ago

Chad just asking, how far down do you bury your head in the sand? Just wondering, it seems to be working for you.

No disrespect intended.

Luke Kading 6 years, 10 months ago

Chad, I agree that some may be going a bit overboard, especially with the fire Bill Self comments. He is a good coach and has the track record to prove it.

However, unfortunately a lot of these things people are complaining about are becoming a pattern and not just this one game, I am now more than ever starting to question him more than I ever have. I cannot understand why the national media and the coaching staff keep believing that Wayne Selden is a star. He's not, and he's not going to become one. At this stage, we know what he is and it's nothing more than an average player. He gets played like he's an all-American who we cannot afford to have on the bench. Maybe I'm too much of a believer in Brannen Greene, but I feel he deserves way more time than he's gotten, especially in last night's game. Sure, he has some major deficiencies, especially on defense, but Selden is not much better on D and Greene is such a good shooter that he needs to be out there more. Although when you have guards that drive and put their head down and throw up a wild shot rather than look to kick out for 3, it maybe won't make a difference because Greene isn't going to create much for himself. Somebody above said it already, but the guards on this team are average and unfortunately so are most of the posts.

I also can't figure out why Landen Lucas continues to get so many minutes. Carlton Bragg is so much more talented but basically got pulled last night after missing one defensive rebound and never got another chance. Meanwhile Lucas missed about four bunnies, most of which didn't even hit the rim. By this time we know what we have in Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson and all of those guys should be playing spot minutes off the bench behind Bragg and hopefully Diallo. Mickelson I think has actually looked pretty good when given a chance, but for some reason those chances are very rare.

It's only one loss early in the season, but unfortunately to me this team looks too similar to last year's team, and unless Bragg and hopefully Diallo can be difference makers, I think we are looking at another 8-10 loss season.

Tyler Capone 6 years, 10 months ago

"Fire Bill Self" Lol you do realize we would be much worse without him right?

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow, the Jayhawk "faithful" are certainly in meltdown mode after this one. It's okay, guys, we will win a couple of games this year, don't worry...

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